National Vegetarian Week: 5 veggie recipes from the UK's best chefs

Eating & Drinking
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We're celebrating National Vegetarian Week this week (14-21 May) with some delicious plant based recipes from some of our favourite chefs. From easy food waste tartines to show stopper mains that prove you don't need meat to make a meal. Get stuck in...

Georgina Wilson-Powell 14 May 2018

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Chantelle Nicholson’s Caramelised Aubergine Tartlet, Zhoug, Coconut and Coriander

Caramelised Aubergine Tartlet, Zhoug, Coconut and Coriander from Chantelle Nicholson's new book

Nassima Rothacker

Chantelle Nicholson’s Caramelised Aubergine Tartlet, Zhoug, Coconut and Coriander

Zhoug has its origins in Yemeni cuisine. It can be quite spicy, but the additional herbs and spices in the recipe make this one of my favourite accompaniments. It pairs really well with the unctuous, savoury aubergine. Pomegranate molasses is one of my favourite ingredients too; it has a rich sweetness that is so well balanced with a rounded acidity.

Recipe taken from Planted by Chantelle Nicholson. (Published by Kyle Books).

Ingredients
2 aubergines
50ml vegetable oil
1 teaspoon table salt
1 quantity of Zhoug (see recipe below)
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
4 sheets of filo pastry
2 tablespoons olive oil
100g coconut yoghurt
½ bunch of coriander, leaves chopped
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
Micro coriander, to garnish (optional)

Ingredients for zhoug
1 small bunch of coriander, leaves picked 
½ small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely diced
½ teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and finely crushed
1 cardamom pod, finely crushed
2 cloves, finely crushed
½ teaspoon agave syrup
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated
50ml olive oil
½ teaspoon table salt 

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4.

Peel one of the aubergines and dice into 2cm chunks. Heat half the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over a medium–high heat. When hot, add the aubergine and salt and cook for 15–20 minutes, stirring frequently, until a deep golden colour. Once cooked, set aside.

Halve the other aubergine lengthways, and cut into 5mm slices. Salt each slice and leave for 10 minutes. Rinse the salt off and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Meanwhile make the zhoug (see below for ingredients and recipe).

Put all the zhoug ingredients into a blender jug, with 2 tablespoons of water. Blend until a chunky paste is formed.

Toast the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan over a moderate heat until fragrant. Remove the seeds from the pan and crush, using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.

Lay a sheet of filo pastry on your worktop. Brush liberally with olive oil. Add another sheet of pastry on top and brush liberally with olive oil again. Sprinkle the crushed cumin seeds over the top. Layer the last two sheets of filo on top, brushing with olive oil.

Slice the pastry into eight even pieces, then place between two sheets of parchment paper. Slide onto a baking tray and place another tray on top to sandwich the pastry together. Bake for 10–12 minutes until the pastry sheets are golden.

Heat a griddle pan until hot. Brush the aubergine slices with the remaining oil and grill each side until nicely charred.

Mix the yogurt with the coriander and pomegranate molasses. Divide the aubergines between the eight sheets of filo. Place one rectangle on top of another and drizzle the top with the zhoug and yoghurt. Garnish with the micro coriander, if using, and serve.

Speedy Lemon Leek Ricotta Pizzettes Vegetarian Week

Abel & Cole's Speedy Lemon Leek Ricotta Pizzettes

Abel & Cole’s Speedy Lemon, Leek and Ricotta Pizzettes

This doughlightful recipe is super simple to whip up and packed full of delicious organic veg.

Ingredients
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
250g ricotta
1 lemon
A handful of flat leaf parsley
1 chilli
400g leeks
A handful of flaked almonds
50g rocket

Method
Heat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Place a couple of flat baking trays in the oven to heat up.

Tip the flour into a bowl, reserving 1 tbsp for later. Add 1 tsp baking powder. Whisk 1 tbsp ricotta with 2 tbsp cold water and a pinch of salt. Tip into the flour and mix. Knead in the bowl to form a smooth dough, adding 1 tsp water at a time if needed. Cover and set aside to rest.

Tip the remaining ricotta into a bowl. Zest and juice the lemon. Finely chop the parsley stalks. Finely chop the chilli, flicking out the seeds. Add half the lemon zest and juice, half the chilli and all the parsley stalks to the ricotta. Add plenty of seasoning. Whisk well.

Trim the leeks. Cut the leeks in half lengthways and give them a good rinse to remove any dirt. Slice as finely as possible. Roughly chop the parsley leaves. Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Gently fry the leeks for 5 mins till just softened. Add the remaining lemon juice to the pan and season well. Take off the heat and set aside.

Dust your worksurface with half the reserved flour. Roll half the dough into a large oval. Repeat with the remaining dough and flour. Pop the dough bases on the heated baking trays and slide back into the oven. Bake for 5 mins till the bases are crisp and have a few bubbles.

Spread the ricotta mix over the bases. Top with the leeks. Scatter over the flaked almonds. Pop back in the oven for 10 mins.

Meanwhile, heat ½ tbsp oil in a clean frying pan. Add the remaining lemon zest and chilli. Fry for 2-3 mins till crisp. Remove the pizzettes from the oven and drizzle over the chilli and lemon oil. Scatter over the parsley leaves and a little rocket to serve.

Squash Apple And Blackberry Salad Vegetarian Week1

Hugh's Squash Apple And Blackberry Salad is a showstopper

River Cottage's Squash, blackberries and apple salad

Young, firm, fresh squashes have a nutty, almost melony flavour when eaten raw – and the beginning of the harvest coincides pleasingly with the blackberry season. If you want to eat seasonally, file this recipe away for the start of autumn but it's delicious all year round.

Recipe taken from Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall (published by Bloomsbury).

Ingredients
250–300g young squash, such as ½ small butternut or a chunk of Crown Prince
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus an extra trickle
½ medium eating apple, cored and chopped
100g blackberries
Juice of ½ small lemon
1 tsp sugar
About 50g hazelnuts (skin on), roughly bashed
Sea salt and black pepper

Method
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the squash (or a knife if it’s a tough, thick-skinned variety). Then use the peeler to pare the squash flesh into ribbons. It’s easiest to cut it into manageable pieces, removing any seedy bits as you go, then pare each piece. The ribbons needn’t be long – in fact, short curls are easier to eat.

Put the squash ribbons into a large bowl, add a trickle of olive oil, season with some salt and pepper and toss together.

Put the chopped apple and about half the blackberries into a mortar or robust bowl. Use the pestle, or the end of a rolling pin, to bash up the fruit a bit – just enough to crush some of the apple and get the blackberry juices flowing. Add the lemon juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, the sugar and some salt and pepper and mix well.

Arrange the raw squash over a large serving plate, or individual plates and spoon the juicy blackberry and apple mix on top. Scatter over the remaining whole blackberries and then the roughly bashed hazelnuts. Give the dish a final grinding of pepper and serve.

You can replace the squash with curls of carrot or celeriac and swap in raspberries and pears too.

Silo Vegetarian Week Recipe

Silo’s Shiitake Mushroom, 3 Cornered Garlic and Brown Butter

Silo’s Shiitake Mushroom, 3 Cornered Garlic and Brown Butter


This dish is the meatiest plant based dish one could possibly conjure.  It’s a minimalist approach that allows mushrooms to shine brightly. The shitakes are so simple to cook but with such depth of umami flavour and the fleshy texture is enough to satisfy any carnivore.

Silo is Brighton's award-winning zero waste restaurant, this recipe is from head chef Dan Gibeon. Read an interview with Silo's mastermind, Douglas McMaster here.

Ingredients
35g butter
35g dry milk powder
80g 3 cornered garlic (roughly chopped)
320g double cream
320g shiitake mushrooms

For garnish
5g 3 cornered garlic (finely chopped)
4g 3 cornered garlic flowers 

Method
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. To make the brown butter solids, melt the butter and dry milk powder and whisk continuously. Cook until gold/brown. Strain through a cheese cloth and leave to drain.

To make the 3 cornered garlic (3CG) butter, blend the chopped garlic and cream together. Continue until the whipped cream separates into butterfat and buttermilk. Transfer the butter in a container and keep aside.

For your garnish, finely chop the 3CG, wash the flowers and discard yellow or ruined parts.

Pick flowers individually. Store in a sealed container in the fridge with a wet cloth underneath (to keep as fresh as possible).

Roast the mushrooms in a little bit of oil and salt. Dependant on the size, cook until slightly caramelised but without drying out the edges. Between 3-5 mins. Once out the oven, dress with apple cider vinegar.

In a saucepan, melt the 3CG butter. Take off the heat. Add a pinch of salt and the finely sliced 3CG.

Spoon a large teaspoon of 3CG butter sauce on the centre of your serving bowl (don’t forget to warm them).

Add the roasted mushrooms neatly in the centre of the bowl. Spoon a tablespoon of the brown butter solids over the mushrooms. Sprinkle the 3CG flowers over the dish.

You can forage for your own garlic between December and June - and you can replace it with wild garlic.

Food Waste Tartine Vegetarian Week2

Turn leftover veg into interesting pickles and sun kissed tartine toppers

Elysia's Food waste tartine

This recipe makes use of wonky vegetables that have been pickled, roasted and turned into a delicious herby hummus. Served on a thick slice of toasted rye sourdough bread, accompanied with British cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. Recipe by Emily Roux.

Ingredients (for the tartine)
30g sun-kissed vegetables (see recipe)
30g ChicP herby hummus
A couple of pickles (see recipe)
1 thick slice of rye sourdough bread
British cheeses
Herbs
Salt, pepper

Ingredients (for the pickles)
1 bunch of surplus radishes and/or carrots
200ml water
200ml white wine vinegar
3 tbsp honey
2 tsp fine salt
A pinch of mustard seeds
A pinch of “piment d’espelette” or ground chili
2 crushed black peppercorn

Ingredients (for the sunkissed veggies)
500g surplus vegetables (tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines...)
30cl olive oil
Salt, pepper
Bay leaves and/or dried herbs

Method (for the sunkissed veggies)
Wash your vegetables, cut them into small pieces and place them in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs and mix together. Place on a baking tray in the oven for 2 hours at 90-100C. Regularly check your vegetables. Remove from the oven, place in a glass jar and cover them with olive oil. Close tightly.

Method (for the pickles)
Wash and cut the vegetables into small dice. Boil all the other ingredients together (everything except the vegetables) and pour the liquid on the vegetables in a glass jar. Close tightly. 

Method (for the tartine)
Start by cutting a thick slice of sourdough bread and toast it. Spread onto the toast a good amount of ChicP herby hummus –made from surplus herbs (or any other homemade hummus). Topped the tartine with sun-kissed vegetables and a few pickles. Add British cheese shavings, a dribble of extra virgin olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.

Pick up surplus ingredients can be sourced at the end of the market or ask to your local farmers market if they have any grade II or III vegetables. 

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